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Using Data To Strengthen Your Proposals

This session will cover how to use data from a range of sources, such as the U.S. Census, surveys, state data, and research. The presenters will begin with simple in-line references suitable for shorter proposals and continue along a spectrum of complexity into more complex government proposals that may require multiple citations, footnotes and bibliographies.

The session will offer strategies for finding different types of data (i.e. poverty rates vs. housing rates vs. incidences of certain diseases, and so on). Using excerpts from actual proposals, the presenters will offer multiple examples of using and citing data in proposals, especially in the context of preparing a strong Need section. The session will also discuss how the Need data should be used to set and support the planned Objectives and Evaluation Plan.

The session will address the following learning objectives:
- Attendees will learn how to effectively incorporate data into proposals of varying length and complexity
- Attendees will learn how to persuasively use comparative data to strengthen proposal Need sections
- Attendees will learn how and when to present complex data in table formats and how to guide readers into interpreting data tables

GPC Competencies Addressed:
How to craft, construct, and submit an effective grant application 
Strategies for effective program and project design and development 
Nationally recognized standards of ethical practice by grant developers


Cheryl Kester is the owner of The Kester Group, a firm specializing in federal grants and external evaluations. Since 1999 her proposals have raised more than $148 million. She loves speaking to GPA chapters, talking people into joining GPA, and riding her bike. A frequent speaker and trainer, she is a GPA-approved trainer and the co-author of Writing to Win Federal Grants and the Writing to Win Workbook. She is also a GPA national board member.

Kaylin Mason is Grants Manager at Walton Arts Center, a performing arts center in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  In her four years as a grant professional, she has enjoyed success with government, foundation, and corporate grants resulting in more than $1 million in funding for the arts. She has been a member of GPA since 2017.